Report on Freedom of Information


How to lodge a freedom of information request
What records we hold
Functions and decision-making powers
Arangements for outside participation

This appendix explains how you can request access to the department's records under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), what records we hold and what arrangements we have in place for outside participation.

How to lodge a freedom of information request

You may apply for access to any records that fall within the scope of the FOI Act. If you need more information or wish to discuss your request, please feel free to:

  • email
  • write to:
    Freedom of Information Coordinator
    Department of Transport and Regional Services
    GPO Box 594
  • fax 02 6274 6775
  • phone 02 6274 7844

You will need to lodge your request in writing or by email, and you must provide an address in Australia where we can send you notices under the FOI Act. We recommend that you also include:

  • as much detail as possible about the record(s) you wish to access
  • the $30 application fee - this can be refunded in some cases, and
  • a phone number in case we need to clarify your needs.

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What records we hold

Our records include the records of:

  • the Australian Transport Safety Bureau
  • the Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics, and
  • the administrations of Jervis Bay Territory, Christmas Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Norfolk Island.

Like many other Australian Government agencies, we hold records such as:

  • briefing papers and submissions prepared for ministers, parliamentary secretaries, Cabinet and Executive Council, noting that these are generally classified documents
  • business papers, briefing notes and meeting records for committees and conferences which we service or participate in
  • codes of practice
  • documents prepared by international agencies
  • documents relating to the development of legislation
  • environmental impact statements
  • internal administration documents
  • international treaties, memoranda of understanding and international conventions
  • legal documents, including legislation, contracts, leases and court documents
  • ministerial responses to parliamentary questions, interdepartmental and general correspondence and papers
  • policy documents, recommendations and decisions
  • program, fund and grant administration papers
  • recommendations to the minister on the allocation of financial assistance grants to states, and
  • service delivery agreements.

We hold certain records that reflect our responsibility for transport matters:

  • liner cargo shipping conference agreements
  • registers of documents, approvals, exemptions, permits and licences
  • Standards Australia guidelines for road design, signage and technical benchmarks
  • technical maps, charts, photographs, drawings and specifications, manuals, statistics, databases and geographical information systems, and
  • vehicle safety recalls.

We also hold certain records for non self-governing territories, in the absence of a state government. These records include:

  • birth, death and marriage records, and
  • motor vehicle registry records.

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Functions and decision-making powers

Our organisation and functions are described throughout this report.

Certain officers exercise decision-making powers and advise our ministers on the exercise of their powers under portfolio legislation and other matters. These are as set out in the Administrative Arrangements Order (AAO) for the Commonwealth of Australia, and relate to:

  • transport safety, including investigations
  • land transport
  • civil aviation and airports
  • transport security
  • delivery of regional and rural specific services
  • maritime transport including shipping
  • regional development
  • matters relating to local government
  • planning and land management in the Australian Capital Territory
  • administration of the Jervis Bay Territory, the Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands, the Territory of Christmas Island, the Coral Sea Islands Territory, the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands, and of Commonwealth responsibilities on Norfolk Island
  • constitutional development of the Australian Capital Territory
  • constitutional development of the Northern Territory of Australia, and
  • natural disaster relief and mitigation in the form of financial assistance to the states and territories.

To review a complete and up-to-date copy of the AAO, visit A version of the AAO with links to each Act listed is also available at:

To review a list of the manuals and other documents we use when making decisions or recommendations that affect the public, contact any office of the National Archives of Australia (NAA) or visit

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Arangements for outside participation

As outlined in Chapter 6, we consult widely to gain the views of our stakeholders and clients about future policy directions. Peak bodies we consulted in 2003-04 are as listed in the following table.

Table 7.5 - External bodies consulted by the department in 2003-04

International body
Ministerial body
Other national body
Regionally based body
Category of body
Policy and Research Group
Regulatory Group
Programs Group
Safety Investigations Group (ATSB)
Accessible Public Transport National Advisory Committee
Aerial Agricultural Association of Australia (
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Australia (
Airport Environment Consultative Committees
Area Consultative Committees (
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Transportation Working Group (
Association of Australian Ports and Marine Authorities (
Australasian Flight Safety Council
Australasian Railway Association (
Australasian Traffic Policing Forum
Australia-Indonesia Development Area Transport Working Group
Australian Airports Association (
Australian and International Pilots Association (
Australian Bicycle Council (
Australian Coroners Society Inc
Australian Federation of Air Pilots (
Australian Freight Councils Network (
Australian Global Navigation Satellite System Coordination Committee (
Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association (
Australian Logistics Council
Australian Maritime Defence Council
Australian Maritime Group - Ad Hoc Maritime Security Working Group [to be replaced by the Maritime Industry Consultative Group]
Australian Motor Vehicle Certification Board
Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (
Australian Research Council Key Centre for Human Factors and Applied Cognitive Psychology (
Australian Shipowners Association (
Australian Transport Council (
Australian Ultralight Federation [see Recreational Aviation Australia]
Aviation Stakeholders' Conference
Aviation Working Group
Board of Airline Representatives of Australia
Christmas Island Administrators' Advisory Council
Committee to Advise on Recall and Safety
Commonwealth/State Emergency Services Officials Group
Commonwealth/State/Local Government Officials Group
Commonwealth/State/Local Government Regional Development Task Force
Commonwealth/State Planning Officials Group
Critical Infrastructure Protection Working Group
Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia (
Development Assessment Forum (
Fatigue Management Pilot Working Group
Flag State Implementation Subcommittee of the International Maritime Organization
Flight Attendants Association of Australia
Flight Safety Forums
Gliding Federation of Australia (
Heavy Vehicle Driver Fatigue Advisory Panel and Regulation Reference Group
Heavy Vehicle Safety Strategy Task Force
Helicopter Industry Association
Human Factors Advisory Group
Indigenous Road Safety Working Group
Industry Consultative Meeting
International Air Transport Association (
International Civil Aviation Organisation (
International Maritime Organisation (
International Transportation Safety Association (
Jervis Bay Territory Emergency Management Committee
Justice Issues Group, Jervis Bay Territory
Kingston and Arthur's Vale Historic Area Board of Management [Norfolk Island]
Land Transport Environment Committee ( [formerly Motor Vehicle Environment Committee]
Local Government and Planning Ministers Council
Local Government Association Roundtable (
Local Government Associations (
Local Government Managers' Association
Long-term Operating Plan Implementation Monitoring Committee
Marine Accident Investigators International Forum (
Maritime Security Working Group, Australian Maritime Group
Motorcycle Safety Consultative Committee
Motor Vehicle Environment Committee [see Land Transport Environment Committee]
National Advisory Facilitation Committee
National Awards for Innovation in Local Government - judging panel
National Road Safety Strategy Panel
Public Health and Environment Committee, Jervis Bay Territory
Recreational Aviation Australia ( [formerly the Australian Ultralight Federation]
Regional Airline Association of Australia [see Regional Aviation Association of Australia]
Regional Aviation Association of Australia ( [formerly Regional Airline Association of Australia]
Regional Development Council (
Regional Women's Advisory Council (
Research Coordination Advisory Group
Road Safety Black Spot Program Consultative Panels
Road Safety Marketing and Public Education Forum
Screening Improvement Group
Shipping Australia Ltd (
Standing Committee on Regional Development
Standing Committee on Transport
Standing Committee on Transport - Transport Security Working Group
Sustainable Regions Advisory Committees (
Sydney Airport Community Forum (
Technical Liaison Group
Transport Emissions Liaison Group
Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council [JBT]

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